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3 US troops wounded in insider attack by Afghan police

U.S and Afghan forces patrol in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Jan. 1, 2014. (SSG Bertha A. Flores/U.S. Army)
September 24, 2019

On Monday, an Afghan police officer staged an insider attack in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, injuring three U.S. service members with “non-life-threatening injuries.”

In comments made by U.S. military spokesman, Army Col. Sonny Leggett and reported by Voices of America, a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police opened fire on a passing military convoy. The three U.S. service members were the only ones wounded in the attack.

“The attacker was killed by return fire from Resolute Support forces,” Leggett said.

Separately the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and falsely claimed that the U.S. service members were killed.

An investigation is underway regarding the “green-on-blue” attack; a term signifying an attack by supposedly friendly Afghan forces. The investigation will include a review among Afghan security partners and Leggett said U.S. forces will adjust safety precautions to avoid future attacks like this one.

The latest insider attack comes in the wake of several Taliban attacks in recent months.

Two members of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division were killed in a prior “insider attack” at the end of July.

Another member of the 82nd Airborne Division was killed by a Taliban car bomb at the beginning of September. The attack claimed the lives of 11 other victims and resulted in dozens more injuries.

President Donald Trump cited the September car bombing in a recent decision to end peace deliberations with the Taliban. In a series of tweets, Trump revealed a plan to move forward on peace talks with the Taliban, by hosting their leaders at Camp David.

Trump expressed outrage at the car bombing attack that the Taliban claimed credit for, and suggested the move was a bargaining ploy by the Taliban to scare the U.S. into expediting the peace process.

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump tweeted.

Following his announcement to cancel the peace talks, Trump said peace talks with the Taliban are “dead, as far as I’m concerned.”

Following Trump’s decision to end peace talks, the Taliban have issued new threats, vowing “Americans will suffer.”

In the week following that Taliban threat, another U.S. service member was killed in combat. The service member, a U.S. Army Green Beret, was the 17th U.S. service member to die this year.

Days after cancelling the peace talks, during a September 11th commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 2001 attacks that initiated the start of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Trump vowed to hit the Taliban harder than ever before.

On Monday, Afghan officials claimed Taliban militants suffered casualties in recent strikes throughout the country.